August seasonal update

The Staff Canteen

From seasonal vegetables to game and seasonal fruits, read our monthly market report to find out what to feature on your menus this month

What do Artichokes taste like

Artichokes have very different flavours depending on how they're consumed. Raw artichokes retain a firmer texture and a bitter taste, in comparison when cooked, artichokes have a softer flavour that is often compared to potatoes, fennel and nuts like almonds and hazelnuts. 

Artichokes are often accompanied with grilled or pan-seared meats like steak or lamb chops. They also go well with seafood dishes and grilled fish.

Check out Richard Bainbridge and his amazing Jerusalem artichoke recipe.

What to cook with chilli peppers

Chillies are part of the same family as sweet peppers. They come in all sorts of varieties and colours and are one of the world's most popular spices. 

They can be used fresh, dried or powdered, and the level of heat varies from type to type.

As a general rule, the smaller the chilli, the hotter it will be. But it's not all about heat, as each type has its own particular flavour.

Though the complete list is exhaustive, the most common varieties are habaneros, jalapeños, cayenne peppers, serrano, birds eye, and poblano.

 It has a long shelf life and makes an excellent substitute for vegetables in side dishes. It matches very well with light, easily digestible fish and white meat dishes.

Try Chad Byrne's Giant Cromane Mussels, smokey onion, ancho chilli, mussel stock sauce recipe here

Giant Cromane Mussels%2C smokey onion%2C ancho chilli%2C mussel stock sauce

What is grey mullet and what should you cook with it? 

No relation to red mullet, grey mullet have a similar appearance to sea bass but with larger scales.  Ideal for cooking with strong flavours, grey mullet makes a good substitute for seabass. 

Whole grey mullet need the guts, scales and gills removed, as well as  pin-boning, but the skin can be left intact. ts roe is a delicacy smoked and is traditionally used in taramasalata - or in recipes such as Dino Joannides' spaghetti with Grey Mullet bottarga.

Spaghetti Bottarga

What is dab and what should you cook with it?

Dab is a sustainable flat fish similar to sole or plaice with a soft, sweet, milky flesh.  Caught mainly in British inshore waters as bycatch, dab is growing in popularity as a sustainable and cheaper alternative to plaice. It can be grilled, pan-fried or baked whole.

Why not swap sole for dab in Nick Beardshaw's South Coast lemon sole with shrimps, seaweed butter and shellfish velouté? 

How do you cook figs?

Figs grow throughout the Mediterranean and in a variety of colours including red, green and black. Dried figs are on the shelves for the whole year, but fresh ones become available from August. Figs can be eaten raw or cooked: roasted, poached or grilled, added to salads, or why not try them embedded in bread?

See more fig recipes like this recipe: figs wrapped in pork belly with lavender and buffalo mozzarella by Iain Pennington

Figs Wrapped in Pork Belly with Lavender and Buffalo Mozzarella

When does the grouse shooting season start?

Similar in size to chickens and in form to partridge, grouse are very popular game birds. There are a variety of species, found in different parts of Ireland, Scotland and the north of England. Red grouse are shot in large quantities during the grouse season which begins on the Glorious Twelfth (12th August) and is normally roasted.

How do you cook a grouse?  

Watch Tom Kitchin prepare and cook this grouse recipe: 

Want more grouse recipes? Take a look at our great selection in our recipe section 

How do you cook monkfish tail?

Typically only the meaty tails of monkfish make it to the table. It will not be winning any awards for aesthetics, however, monkfish tail meat has been compared taste-wise to lobster meat. Monkfish is usually sold in tails, fillets (steaks) or cheeks. It usually comes skinned and filleted with the pinkish membrane stripped away; if this hasn’t been removed, pull it off before cooking or it will shrink around the fillet making it twist. The liver is also edible but it's much more common in Japanese cuisine.  

Try this roasted monkfish tail in this recipe from Kevin Bonus!

monkfish tail
Roasted Monkfish Tail with Blackened Spices, Cracked Wheat and Lightly Spiced Mussels 

Find more monkfish recipes from chefs  

What goes well with peaches?

Juicy and ripe, the humble peach is a fruit that epitomises long sunny days and they are at their best in British summertime. A versatile fruit, peaches work well with both sweet and savoury dishes and can go so much further than a peach pie or cobbler. They also make an ideal pairing with more salty meats such as pork, ham and even brisket.

Check out this seared foie gras with a peach chutney recipe from Luke Tipping.

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Seared Foie Gras with
Peach Chutney

Watch Glynn Purnell prepare and cook this beef carpaccio and peach recipe: 

Looking for more recipes featuring peaches

What cooking method is best for lamb?

Slow cooking lamb in liquids, such as stockSlow cooking lamb in liquids, such as stocks and sauces, transforms tougher cuts into fork-tender meat.

Lamb neck, shoulder and belly, either diced or as whole joints, are the best cuts for slow cooking and need to be cooked for at least 2 hrs at 150°C to soften the meat.

Watch Mark & Shauna Froydenlund from the two Michelin-starred Marcus restaurant cook salt baked shoulder of lamb, turf smoked potatoes, Tunworth custard and pickled mushrooms.

Looking for more recipes featuring lamb

Are you using any of these seasonal ingredients in your menus? Upload your pics and recipes to our Chef+ mobile app!



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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st August 2023

August seasonal update